“The act of fortitude consists not only in holding fast to good against the fear of future dangers, but also in not failing through sorrow or pain occasioned by things present.” 101
Ah, fortitude–what the saints of old were praised for, what soldiers in war are rewarded for! It is that precious virtue and gift that enables us to commit to a good although knowing that the good will be delayed and must be fought for with much bitterness and sorrow in order to be obtained.
In this little sermon, our Saint makes a distinction between committing to a good while now in good circumstances, and holding fast to the good by ‘not failing through sorrow or pain occasioned by things present.” This is most necessary. It is much easier to commit to a good without feeling the pains that we know we shall feel in the future for its sake. We must not only stay true to this good while now in agreeable circumstances, but also when those circumstances change and cause us emotional, physical or spiritual pain.
We must decide that the final good is worth all the pain that comes along. And when it comes to God, our greatest and only true Good, the trials and pains of this life are as nothing. Let us commit now to Him, and when trials come, let us beg of Him the grace to persevere, that we may attain to Him and to the prize reserved for those faithful soldiers of Christ–the perfect knowledge and enjoyment of God in heaven forever.